READ: Ezekiel 3-4
THINK: You've probably heard that God has a wonderful plan for you, and it's certainly true that nothing can satisfy the desire for significance like God's goals for your life. But fulfilling God's purposes isn't always pleasant. In a world of people who defy God and go their own way, following Jesus and standing for His truth will often put you at odds with the culture, bringing opposition and persecution from those with no desire to listen to the Lord. And yet, God gives you the privilege and responsibility of bringing hope to a wayward world. While the message sometimes takes the form of a firm warning, God's intense love for spiritually lost people should compel us not to compromise, but to boldly deliver the good news of forgiveness and eternal life through faith in Jesus-before it's too late.
RESPOND: Why did Ezekiel eat the scroll, and what did this act symbolize? (See 3:1 note.) Why was the scroll sweet, even though it's message was full of bitterness and grief? (See 3:3 note.) Why did God tell Ezekiel to deliver the message, even though the Lord knew that people wouldn't listen, and how did God encourage Ezekiel (3:7- 9)? (See 3:7 note.) According to 3:14-15, how did Ezekiel feel as he went with God's message, and why? (See 3:14 note.) Why do you think Ezekiel was overwhelmed as he sat among his people (3:15)? What did it mean that God made Ezekiel a watchman (3:17), and why was this such a serious responsibility? (See 3:18 note.) How does this responsibility apply today? How is 3:20 a warning to those who know God? (See 3:20 note.) Why do you think Ezekiel responded to God's glory as he did in 3:23? Why did God forbid Ezekiel to speak, and what did this say about the people's spiritual condition? (See 3:26 note.) What was significant about the number of days Ezekiel laid on his side? (See 4:5 note.) What was the purpose of the plain, limited food Ezekiel ate during this time? (See 4:9-11 note.)
PRAY: Give thanks for the privilege of delivering God's message. Pray for strength to serve Him and stand for His truth when opposition is intense. Ask God to give you His heart of compassion for people who don't know Him.
ACT: Look around at the people in your school, work or community. Allow God to overwhelm you with a sense of compassion and urgency to reach them with His message of hope while there is still time. Then don't be afraid to get into conversations about Christ as you rely on Him to give you opportunities to speak up.
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